The team that enabled both the renewable electricity transformation and the electric vehicle revolution is now coming after the other half of emissions.
Thanks to today’s low-cost solar panels and wind turbines, renewable electricity is one-third the cost of coal-fired electricity. Similarly, thanks to a wave of innovations, the total cost of ownership of EVs has fallen below that of its fossil counterparts. Together, cheap renewables and electric transportation provide the means to eliminate almost half of global emissions at a cost below that of our 20th century fossil alternatives. In the process, the renewable electricity and EV sectors are creating trillions of dollars in economic value while enabling energy and transportation sectors that are more sustainable, abundant and equitably distributed.
But electricity and transportation combined only account for about 40% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of the rest is created by industry and agriculture, sectors we rely on for our very lives. Steel, fertilizers, chemicals, materials, industrial heat, and others are the “hard-to-decarb” sectors that still need solutions.
Electric Hydrogen was founded by technologists from Tesla and First Solar to address another facet of the decarbonization challenge. We’ve come together to assemble a team of passionate people to build industrial-scale electrolysis that will produce renewable hydrogen for hard-to-decarb applications. Our goal is to achieve green hydrogen cost “fossil-parity” and thereby enable heavy industry to adapt and meet today’s challenges.
Today’s vital fossil hydrogen market is a $100 billion sector.
Ninety-five percent of hydrogen is currently produced from gasified coal or natural gas via a process called steam methane reformation. The sector needs to be cleaned up, and the opportunity is massive, requiring about 1 terawatt of electrolyzer capacity. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. The bigger opportunity is to build a hydrogen bridge that connects ubiquitous cheap renewables to the hard-to-decarb end use sectors, and to do so at prices that will ultimately eliminate the financial barriers to doing the right thing.
How will we do it? Tesla started as a crazy idea to prove electric cars could be superior and affordable. First Solar started with the dream of producing electricity from nothing but sunshine and coated glass. We see parallels between these sectors and green hydrogen development. Guided by first principles thinking and large-scale focus, we are re-engineering the well-established technology of water electrolysis to offer a better alternative to the incumbent polluting technologies. Like an electric car or semi-truck, we need to re-imagine and codesign all the various components of a complex system from the ground up to optimize green hydrogen production.
Our mission at Electric Hydrogen is to decarbonize industry. To do so, we need to deliver immense quantities of green hydrogen at fossil-parity prices while operating at renewable capacity-factors. We don’t see how the existing legacy platforms can scale to achieve this goal; we think a more radical approach is needed. We know that meeting this challenge will require enormous effort, risk tolerance, and innovation. The path will be long, hard, and demanding. But this journey is in our DNA, and we are determined to urgently pursue these audacious and essential goals.
The Electric Hydrogen Founding Team